Goa : The state’s tourism industry, which relies substantially on charters and foreign tourists, is bracing for a season completely bereft of international visitors. Stakeholders say they’ve given up hope for the season after the Centre’s decision last week not to restore tourist visas.“I still don’t want to believe that we will not have a charter season,” said Ernest Dias of Sita, a travel company that handles charter tourists from Europe and Russia.
“It will be a disaster for the industry if we do not have charters and foreign tourists. (But) in all likelihood, we may not have a charter season.”The charter season in Goa starts by mid-October and concludes by April-May.It receives around 2-2.5 lakh tourists via this mode, including Russians, British and European travellers. The state’s total international footfall is pegged at about 8 lakh, while the number for domestic tourists is around 80 lakh.
The News24 Goa